1. Knitting Chart or Graph Paper
Grab a selection of coloured pencils (one for each colour of yarn you plan to use), and mark your design — stitch by stitch — on a piece of knitting chart paper. One row of blocks in the pattern grid will be equal to one row of knitting, and each coloured block represents one stitch. You’ll just follow the knitting chart stitch by stitch, colour by colour of yarn, along the rows of the pattern.
If you’re handy with the computer, you can print up a custom grid to suit the scale that fits you best.
Tip — print your grid onto a piece of tracing paper, instead of basic office bond paper. That way, you can place the tracing paper over your photograph or motif and use it as a guide when you’re plotting in the colours for each of the rectangles that represent a stitch for your pattern.
And do slip that tracing paper pattern inside a protective plastic sleeve, so it won’t run the risk of getting torn or damaged, as you’ll be referring to it often while working on your project.
2. Image-to-Grid Online Knitting Pattern Generator
The second way to make a knitting pattern from a logo, photo, or other image is a quick-and-easy free online tool from MicroRevolt:
knitPro is a web application that translates digital images into knit, crochet, needlepoint and cross-stitch patterns. Just upload jpeg, gif or png images of whatever you wish — portraits, landscapes, logos… and it will generate the image pattern on a grid sizable for any fiber project.
Here’s the deal — you go to the knitPro site, select a grid size (48×64, 96×120, or 120 x 160), select a stitch size for needlepoint, cross stitch, crochet, or knit (portrait or landscape), and then browse your computer to select the image you want to convert.
The pattern will be downloaded to your computer as a printable PDF file. This tool works best with pictures that have simple lines and a limited number of colours, so you may need to experiment a bit to get it right.
3. Image-to-Grid Free Knitting Pattern Software
Third, there’s a clever free program that can create knitting patterns out of pictures, that you can download and install on your own computer. The Knitting Pattern Generator is made to work on both Linux and Win32 computer systems.
KPG also offers some features that you don’t get with a simple online utility — like the choice of pretty HTML or plain text output. And here, you do have the ability to edit the generated template, if you want to tweak the design that the software has created to make it better suit your needs.
You can specify a background colour instead of having it default to the first colour given. You can create a database of yarn or thread colours, and KPG will pick the closest colour from that list to match your picture. Or you can use a black-and-white picture to create a pattern that uses only one colour of wool, and different stitches are used to create the picture.
Once you have your charts the next step to making the blanket is: Lesson 3 next week – how to read a knitting motif chart.